When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement doesn’t follow through fast enough, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice.
There’s the bones of an excellent film here, but it’s too often let down by a meandering plot that doesn’t really know the best way to get from A to B. The film is centred on two brothers (Christian Bale and Casey Affleck), one (Affleck) who is a war veteran who gets into bare knuckle boxing to pay back a gambling debt, and the other (Bale) who is more straight laced despite a spell in prison for a driving accident. The film wants to tell a story about the American Midwest, and it does provide a platform for some excellent performances, namely from Christian Bale, but also from supporting actors Willem Dafoe and Woody Harrelson, as a menacing redneck criminal. The prison subplot near the beginning doesn’t really add anything to the story IMO, and there’s a few examples of dragging things out, or adding unnecessary things in, which is disappointing. However, the strong performances and a couple of excellent moments make this worth watching for me.
Directed By: Scott Cooper
Starring: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard, Zoe Saldana and Forest Whitaker